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Most Influential Women in Leasing


Laurie Bakke--athlete, sailor, Athletic Hall of Fame - 2000. After learning the finance and leasing business at ITT Commercial Finance, including Manager, Quality Control and Credit Manager, she joined NordFinance, Inc., a subsidiary of Nordbanken, AB, Sweden's largest financial institution, credit manager, vice-president Vendor program, finally named President. She then joined Irwin Commercial Finance as Executive Vice President and General Manager. She brought her vendor and operation skills to Huntington National Bank as Vice President, Vendor Finance. She has served on the board of directors of the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association and on the board of trustees for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Susan Carol, APR, CEO of Susan Carol Associates, 1989. She has grown her organization from a team of writers and media relations specialists to a full-service communications firm with seasoned expertise in branding, marketing, public relations, advertising and Web development. Her client base has included many technology firms serving the leasing industry, bank lessors, independent lessors, and "the leading global consulting firm serving the leasing industry." She is always studying how her clients' interests are affected by emerging media, cultural and economic forces. She has spoken to audiences in Australia, Hong Kong and the United States on the subject of business technology applications in equipment leasing. She speaks to business groups regionally on integrating PR, advertising and marketing. Susan has assisted clients through crisis communications scenarios and managed local, state and international media representatives for many types of organizations.

Valerie Jester-- President of Brandywine Capital Associates. She served as Senior Vice President of First Sierra Financial. She was President and owner of Corporate Capital Leasing Group, which she sold to First Sierra Financial. Prior to founding Corporate Capital's predecessor company in 1988, Ms. Jester was a Regional Manager for General Electric Credit Corporation - in the company's Commercial Asset Finance Department. It is her volunteerism that nominates her as being one of the most influential women in leasing. For 17 years she has been active in the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association, very active on many committees, and also it was for her work that she was elected as the first woman chairman of the association. Ms. Jester has not limited herself and activities to one association. She also served on the Board of Directors of the Eastern Association of Equipment Lessors and as a member of the Ethics committee of the United Association of Equipment Leasing (now National Equipment Finance Association.) She also has been a speaker and chair of many industry conventions and workshops. Ms. Jester has also served on the Board of Directors of the YMCA of Chester County, Red Cross of Chester County, the American Lung Association of Chester and Delaware Counties, the Salvation Army, and the Chester County Art Association, and has served as Chair for many local fundraising events.

Bette Kerhoulas, CLP. President Pacifica Capital founded in 1984. She has been an influence and role model for many women (and men) in our industry, not to mention she was the first female President of the United Association of Equipment Leasing. She also won a major case in California regarding application of sales tax to discounted or assigned true leases.

Elaine Litwer - legislative coordinator for the National Vehicle Leasing Association (NVLA), which promotes responsible legislation regarding developments and trends in vehicle leasing. She is a recipient of the association's Lifetime Achievement Award for her distinguished career in the vehicle leasing industry and her continued work and support of the association She dedicated herself to improving the leasing industry. She fought tirelessly to abolish lessor vicarious liability in New York State. She was involved in the auto industry from almost every aspect, being a lessor, a sales rep, working in the offices at GM, lobbying in Albany.

Lisa A, Levine, CAE--Executive Director of the Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation, who has continually attracted an active board of trustees, as well as conducting and commissioning " credible, unbiased future-focused research about the equipment lease financing industry. To date, the Foundation has funded more than $1.6 million in research grants." The Journal of Equipment Lease Financing, published three times a year.

Shari Lipski, CLP--Principal, ECS Financial Services, joining the company in 1999. She was vice-president of Public Funding Company, which was sold to First Sierra Financial, where she became responsible for managing the Chicago branch office, as well as portfolio of vendor services. She has been actively involved in the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association, serving on many committees, Eastern Equipment Association of Lessors, Mid-America Association of Lessors, National Association of Equipment Leasing Brokers, and the United Association of Equipment Leasing, as well as serving on the board of directors of the Certified Leasing Professional Foundation. She has served many companies with her expertise in many areas including marketing and managing a lease portfolio, back-office leasing company operations, sales and personal property tax compliance and consulting. She and her husband Phil are the proud owners of Oak Spring Kennels in Poplar Grove, Illinois.

Terri McNally---President of Global Capital, Ltd., former vice-president at Ameritech Capital, Fleet Capital, and GE Capital, active in many associations, winning several awards and recognitions, serving as a speaker at conferences all over the world for over 20 years.

Deborah Monosson--- President, Boston Financial & Equity Corp., a role model for women in leasing, active on the board at the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association, Equipment Leasing and Finance Foundation, first female president of the Commercial Finance Association, serving on many committees, very active and outspoken. Operates a very successful company.

June Sciotto-- President of Regal Finance, since 1988. She was one of the original person's that started the National Association of Equipment Leasing Brokers, worked countless hours to get the organization off the ground, then went on to serve on the board becoming as its first Female President. This was back in the day when the term for President was for 2 years and all the work was done by the officers and board with no help from any management group or hired individuals. Several of the policies and procedures that were implemented by June Sciotto helped bring the National Association of Equipment Leasing to become a viable association for the Leasing Broker and also broke the barriers of the other organizations by getting them to recognize the NAELB and to include its members in their meetings.

Marci Kimble-Slagle, CLP, Senior Vice President of Intermediary Funding, Varilease. She previously was Managing Director of Intermediary Funding, Tetra Financial Group, and Vice-President of Sales and Marketing at ACC Capital Funding, both located in Salt Lake City, Utah. She served as Vice President for the Certified Lease Professional Foundation. She was on the Board of Directors for the United Association of Equipment Lessors (UAEL) in 2003 and 2004, active on several committees, including being regional representative. She also served on numerous committees for the Eastern Association of Equipment Lessors and National Association of Equipment Leasing Brokers, previous vice-president of the CLP Foundation, and was a past director of the Mid-America Association of Equipment Lessors. She is active. She is involved. She is very well known and respected in the entire leasing industry.

Rebecca Smith ---Huntington National Bank East Michigan Regional President. She was Fifth Third Bank EVP commercial banking, her division produced over half of the affiliate's net income with a portfolio approaching $3 billion and a total head count of 178 employees. She was formerly at Old Kent Bank as President of East Michigan when Fifth Third Bank purchased Old Kent. Prior to the merger, she was Division Head/President of the Equipment Leasing Division/NBD Equipment Finance in Detroit, Michigan.

Cynthia "Cindy" Spurdle ---Long time executive director of the Certified Leasing Professional Foundation, who began her career in 1982 Wrigley Group Ltd., a family owned leasing company started by her father. Her late husband and she purchased the business in 1988. "In 1990 I was working on a transaction with a broker in Albany, NY, Gerry Oestreich, who later became President of the NAELB. He told me about a brand new association called the NAELB just getting underway in Atlanta." She took the position as the first Executive Director of the NAELB in 1998 and took over the management of the entire association, except the books, and all of the conferences and meetings for two years. She then went to the Cindy went to the United Association of Equipment Leasing office, helped with the conferences, but main job was the Certified Financial Professional program, which is now a "foundation" that she is the executive director. She is active at many conferences for all the associations, a hard worked, always in the background, gets the job done, above and beyond what is asked of her.

Rosanne Wilson, CLP -- 1st Independent Leasing is an outstanding individual. A twenty-five year veteran in Finance. She has given so much to National Association of Equipment Leasing Brokers (NAELB), as well as reached out as a Mentor and supporter of all new members of our industry. She serves on many committees as well as the Treasurer of NAELB. She is active on the Certified Leasing Professional Board of Directors. Those who know her have grown from the assets she shares with all. Even the most experienced amongst us have used her good office as a great sounding board on issues from closing deals to technical questions and she always shares what she knows graciously. A true professional and a terrific representative of our industry.